High school portfolio, 2019
Acrylic on paper (stamp made using hand-carved linoleum pad)
I created this work for my RISD Assignment for my application for the fall 2019 semester. Out of the three prompts, i chose 'error'.
I interpret 'error' as making mistakes and facing failures. I wanted to portray a cycle of errors and convey the idea of the imperfect nature of humans: we are always bound to make mistakes before achieving desired results. I decided to portray this through the process of the creation of this work. The Chinese characters 'Cheng Gong', meaning 'success', is made into a stamp carved out of a linoleum pad. It is my first time experimenting with the medium and the process of creating the work is in itself a process of trial and error. Instead of using another sheet of paper to test out the stamp, I wanted to document every step of the process on the work itself to bring out its meaning. The significance of the use of Chinese characters corresponds with my view of the Asian 'meritocratic' culture, particularly in Singapore. Often our culture values result and not progress. Success is rewarded and flaws are frowned upon. However through this work I wanted to show the 'behind-the-scenes' of success, which is a process of determination, practice, and making errors. It was quite challenging at first, but I slowly got the hang of stamp carving. However when I became over-confident, I would end up making a mistake, and I had to take a step back and be more patient and precise. I gained an epiphany from this process; it was not merely an art concept I was developing - it was a realisation that this idea is true for all that we do. As humans, we grow from experience and learn from our mistakes. At the same time, it is also important for us to remain humble when we become too prideful and embrace courage when we lack confidence.
After completing this work, I reimagined it as a design project to create a brand and a product our of the motif. I chose to do a stationery set because these are the things we use to write ideas, plan, experiment, and make mistakes.